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  • Author: Michelle Leanne Burgis-Kasthala
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This study employs a select ethnography of Palestinian workers in the field of international law and human rights to explore how an epistemic community gives content and meaning to international law in its professional and personal life. Through a series of interviews conducted in the West Bank in the wake of the Palestinian attempt to gain full United Nations membership in September 2011, the article constructs a meta-narrative about the nature of international legal discourse as spoken on the Palestinian periphery. It shows how speakers of international law are required to restate or over-state the distinction between law and politics so as to sustain their hope and desire for Palestinian statehood in the face of despair about its protracted denial. The article then is an exploration about the politics of meaning making through international law and a call for methodological hybridity within the discipline of international law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Politics, United Nations
  • Author: Mark Chinen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article argues that a gap that has always existed in the law of state responsibility is now becoming more apparent. That gap divides a state from its citizens, making it difficult to justify why state responsibility should be distributed to them. Purely legal approaches to the issue are not likely to resolve the problem, and although the literature of moral collective responsibility suggests some bases for having citizens share the costs of state responsibility, none are completely satisfying. Concepts from complexity theory show why this is so. If the theory is correct, the state is neither a legal abstraction nor reducible to the individuals who purportedly comprise it. Instead, it is an emergent phenomenon that arises from complex interactions among individuals, formal and informal subgroups, and the conceptual tools and structures that individuals and subgroups use to comprehend and respond to their physical and social environments. The theory is consistent with a basic premise of international law that the state as such is an appropriate bearer of responsibility. However, because in a complex system there is no linear connection between the emergent phenomenon and its underlying constituents, this suggests that the divide between a state and its citizens in the distribution of state responsibility may never be bridged.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Jan Wouters, Joost Pauwelyn, Ramses A. Wessel
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Formal international law is stagnating in terms both of quantity and quality. It is increasingly superseded by 'informal international lawmaking' involving new actors, new processes, and new outputs, in fields ranging from finance and health to internet regulation and the environment. On many occasions, the traditional structures of formal lawmaking have become shackles. Drawing on a two-year research project involving over 40 scholars and 30 case studies, this article offers evidence in support of the stagnation hypothesis, evaluates the likely reasons for it in relation to a 'turn to informality', and weighs possible options in response. But informal structures can also become shackles and limit freedom. From practice, we deduce procedural meta-norms against which informal cooperation is increasingly checked ('thick stakeholder consensus'). Intriguingly, this benchmark may be normatively superior (rather than inferior) to the validation requirements of traditional international law ('thin state consent').
  • Topic: Environment, Health, International Law
  • Author: Mónica García-Salmones Rovira
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The article examines the substance and form of 20th century positivist international law; in particular the way in which each determines the other. The text describes the turn to interests in international law, which evolved slowly in scope and depth. By examining Lassa Oppenheim's focus on 'common interests' that united states and Hans Kelsen's focus on the 'struggle of interests' that constituted politics, the article studies two phenomena produced by the foundational role taken by interests during the 20th century. First, this role contributed to putting an end to the moral discussion about the treatment of native populations. Secondly, it curbed debate about a common political project for a global order, thus creating conformity characterized by abuse of power – all in the name of the neutrality of positivist law. This article suggests that the work of these two leading theoreticians in the field has contributed to the shaping of the legal theory of mainstream positivist international law, and seeks to foreground discussions about the different theories on the role of law in politics. In this manner it aims to help reconceptualize law in such a way as to bring about a situation in which discussions of a common political project for the international arena are more central.
  • Topic: International Law, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jörg Kammerhofer
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In this response to Mónica García-Salmones Rovira's article 'The Politics of Interest in International Law', the argument is developed that an interpretation of Kelsen's legal theory as founded on 'interests' or 'conflicts of interests' is not adequately supported by the primary materials, if read in their context. 'Interests' do not play a major role in Kelsen's writings, and where they are discussed, they do not form part of his legal theory, i.e., the Pure Theory of Law. This response argues that this 'context insensibility' in reading Kelsen may have its roots in the unwitting adoption of one over-arching method of scholarly cognition. It thereby implicitly discards one of the crucial axioms of Kelsen's theory of scholarship: the avoidance of a syncretism of methods through a consistent separation of scholarly enterprises and methods. Not to adopt such a separation is a legitimate stance; to foist the non-separation on an author whose theory hinges upon it is not.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Mónica García-Salmones Rovira
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: I am very grateful to Jörg Kammerhofer for his engagement with my text. Not only does he know Kelsen's main writings on legal theory very well, but he is himself a Kelsenian scholar. One is led, therefore, to speculate on the extent to which his reply comes close to what Kelsen himself would have written in respect of my article, and more generally in respect of the book on which it is based.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Lauri Mälksoo
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This introductory article opens the symposium which examines the legacy of the Russian international lawyer Friedrich Fromhold von (or Fyodor Fyodorovich) Martens (1845–1909). In the first section, the article critically reviews previous research and literature on Martens and discusses the importance of the Martens diaries that are preserved in a Moscow archive. In the second section, the article offers an intellectual portrait of Martens and analyses the main elements in his international legal theory as expressed in his textbook. In particular, his claim that international law was applicable only between 'civilized states' is illuminated and discussed.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Rein Müllerson
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article concentrates on two controversial aspects of the writings of Friedrich Fromhold Martens – his treatment of the so-called mission civilisatrice of European nations and the potential clash of the two roles an international lawyer may have to perform: in the service of international law and representing national interests of his/her country or other clients. Both of these aspects in Martens' work have not lost their topicality; it is illuminating to draw parallels between his time and today's world.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Shashank P. Kumar, Cecily Rose
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article provides empirical support for what might strike some as a truism: oral proceedings before the International Court of Justice (the Court) are dominated by male international law professors from developed states. In order to test this claim, our study examines the composition of legal teams appearing on behalf of states before the Court in contentious proceedings between 1999 and 2012. We have focused, in particular, on counsels' gender, nationality, the development status and geographical region of their country of citizenship, and their professional status (as members of law firms, barristers or sole practitioners, professors, or other). The results of our study raise questions about the evident gender imbalance among counsel who have appeared before the Court during the timeframe of this study, as well as the apparent preference that states have shown for 'repeat players' and professors of public international law. By presenting data on the composition of legal teams, and discussing possible explanations for the patterns that we have observed, this study aims to contribute to the development of a body of scholarship on international law as a profession.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Gleider I. Hernández
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The proliferation of international courts and tribunals in the last two decades has been an important new development in international law, and the three books under review are at the vanguard in substantiating the claim that the judicialization of international law reflects its deepened legalization. All three have adopted ambitious empirical frameworks through which to assess the impact of international courts, and present valuable insights with respect to the phenomenon. Whilst all seek to make intelligible the growing relevance of the various international courts, their empirical methodology and mapping exercise reflects a faith that the legalization/judicialization of international law is a positive development, one that might nevertheless be contested. With the Oxford Handbook's mapping exercise, Karen Alter's 'altered politics' model of effectiveness, and Yuval Shany's 'goal-based' method for assessing effectiveness, the three books represent the forefront of scholarly efforts to study the practice of international courts. One should be careful, however: because the empirical exercise attempted in these three books goes beyond mere description into an attempt to model future outcomes, it has the drawback of privileging certain modes of cognizing the phenomenon of the proliferation of international courts. Although an important contribution, a solely empirical approach would create the impression of a purely linear progression in the judicialization of international law, one which might not be borne out in reality.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Sara De Vido
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Water has been a challenging issue over the centuries. From questions of national boundaries and navigation, quite common in the past, to the development of a human right to water, this essential element for human life has always spurred debate among international lawyers, economists, political scientists, geographers, and anthropologists. The reason may be found in the scarcity of water, a phenomenon which affects both developed and developing countries. Much has been written on the topic, but the three books under review significantly contribute to a critical analysis of some pertinent legal issues related to water. The title of each monograph reflects the purpose of the respective study. Hence, International Law for a Water-Scarce World by Brown Weiss starts from the acknowledgement that 'the fresh water crisis is the new environmental crisis of the 21st century' (at 1) and provides an integrated analysis of water law, which considers climate implications, river basins, and the availability and quality of fresh water. Boisson De Chazournes' Fresh Water in International Law investigates the status of fresh water in international law. The choice of the titles of the chapters is particularly evocative. Thus, after a chapter on regulation of fresh water use, the book continues with chapters on the 'Economization' of the law applicable to fresh water, its 'Environmentalization', followed by its 'Humanization', and 'Institutionalization Trends in Fresh Water Governance', before focusing on dispute settlement mechanisms. The use of the ending '-zation' gives the immediate impression of the evolution of the law on fresh water resources, which now includes several separate but clearly interrelated aspects. The title of the third book, written by Thielbörger, deserves attention for two elements, the first being the letter 's' inside the parentheses and the second being the adjective 'unique' used for identifying the human right to water. The Right(s) to Water. The Multi-Level Governance of a Unique Human Right pursues a different purpose from the two other books under review which adopt a more comprehensive approach. Thielbörger's book (based on his doctoral dissertation) studies the human right to water from a comparative and international perspective, emphasizing the complexity of a right which is strictly linked to other rights but constitutes at the same time a right of its own.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, International Law
  • Author: Ruti Teitel
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Does international law have an answer to the question: 'what is a fair international society'? In her insightful book, Emmanuelle Tourne-Jouannet interrogates in a systematic fashion diverse areas of international law that touch upon or address, directly or indirectly, fairness, equity, or redistribution: from the law of development to minority rights to international economic law. By taking positive law as the point of departure for an inquiry about global justice, Tourme- Jouannet departs, in a refreshing way, from attempts to extrapolate from mainstream legal theory an abstract conception of global justice. '[W]hat is to be addressed here are not contemporary theories of justice and the philosophical questions that the topic raises .... [I]t is the aim to address them here from a different angle: from within legal practice, as it were .... I have opted for an approach based on existing legal practice, with a view to conceptualizing and questioning it' (at 3). For Tourme-Jouannet, the question about the fairness of international legal practice leads to a number of other legal-historical questions regarding the contemporary evolution of international law. The project is 'simply to begin by identifying the principles and legal practices relating to development and recognition' ( ibid. ). In her view, adopting a historical perspective, these practices – notwithstanding their differences – reflect a joint concern with achieving global justice over the years.
  • Topic: Economics, International Law
  • Author: Janina Dill
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article introduces three ways in which a state at war can attempt to accommodate the often contradictory demands of military necessity and humanitarianism – three 'logics' of waging war. The logics of sufficiency, efficiency and moral liability differently distribute the harm and destruction that waging war inevitably causes. International law demands belligerents follow the logic of sufficiency. Contemporary strategic imperatives, to the contrary, put a premium on waging war efficiently. Cross-culturally shared expectations of proper state conduct, however, mean killing in war ought to fit the logic of moral liability. The latter proves entirely impracticable. Hence, a belligerent faces a choice: (i) renounce the right and capacity to use large-scale collective force in order to meet public expectations of morally appropriate state conduct (logic of liability); (ii) defy those expectations as well as international law and follow strategic imperatives (logic of efficiency) and (iii) follow international law (logic of sufficiency), which is inefficient and will be perceived as illegitimate. This is the 21st-century belligerent's trilemma.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Amanda Alexander
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article questions the conventional histories of international humanitarian law, which view international humanitarian law as the heir to a long continuum of codes of warfare. It demonstrates instead that the term international humanitarian law first appeared in the 1970s, as the product of work done by various actors pursuing different ends. The new idea of an international humanitarian law was codified in the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. Nevertheless, many of the provisions of the Protocols remained vague and contested, and their status, together with the humanitarian vision of the law they outlined, was uncertain for some time. It was only at the end of the 20th century that international lawyers, following the lead of human rights organizations, declared Additional Protocol I to be authoritative and the law of war to be truly humanitarian. As such, this article concludes that international humanitarian law is not simply an ahistorical code, managed by states and promoted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Rather, it is a relatively new and historically contingent field that has been created, shaped and dramatically reinterpreted by a variety of actors, both traditional and unconventional.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Geneva
  • Author: Ulf Linderfalk
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Although treaty interpretation is undoubtedly an activity governed by international law, and by Articles 31–33 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) in particular, some commentators continue repeating the pre-Vienna adage that treaty interpretation is a matter of art and not science, the implication of which is that no understanding of a treaty provision can ever be explained rationally. As the present article argues, this idea of interpretation must be rejected. While, sometimes, an assumed meaning of a treaty cannot be justified based on international law simpliciter, many times it can still be explained based on the structural framework of Articles 31–33 of the VCLT. Consequently, any characterization of treaty interpretation in the abstract as either art or science is misplaced. Whether treaty interpretation is an art or a science remains a question of fact inextricably tied to the approach taken by each and every law-applying agent in particular cases.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Helmut Philipp Aust
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Cities are beginning to assert themselves as internationally relevant actors. This is particularly noticeable in the climate change context. This development has so far not been accorded a great deal of attention by international lawyers. The review essay discusses four new books by political scientists which offer us a closer look at the political dimension of 'global cities', a term originally coined by sociologist Saskia Sassen. The four books under review as well as this essay pay particular attention to the C40 association – a movement of self-styled city leaders in climate change governance. This group of cities has developed numerous ties with international organizations and private corporations. The review essay analyses how cooperative endeavours such as C40 challenge our understanding of the relationship between the city and the state and assesses how international law as a discipline could come to terms with these developments. It is argued that international law should fulfil two functions in this regard: recognition and contestation. Whereas cities may not yet be recognized subjects of international law, they are moving closer to this illustrious circle. In any case, their law-making processes are beginning to have a significant impact on processes of global governance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Law, Governance
  • Author: Jochen von Bernstorff
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Global economic justice as a topic of moral philosophy and international law is back on the intellectual agenda and figures prominently in feuilletons, blogs and academic publications. A wave of recent studies by both international lawyers and moral philosophers on the dark side of economic globalization and the role of international law in this context is as such a remarkable phenomenon. The essay engages with diverging scholarly perspectives on global justice and international law as represented in the four volumes under review. Three substantive questions structure the non-comprehensive sketch of the global justice debate: (i) Is the current international economic order unjust? (ii) Can existing international legal rules and institutions be transformed or developed into a more just economic order? (iii) What is the potential role of international lawyers in this context?
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Law
  • Author: Marko Milanovic, Linos-Alexander Sicilianos
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This Symposium examines the International Law Commission's work on reservations, specifically its recently completed Guide to Practice on Reservations to Treaties. The topic is very technical and the Guide itself gigantic, standing, together with its commentaries, at over 600 pages. The topic of reservations to treaties has been on the ILC's agenda since 1993; its Special Rapporteur, Professor Alain Pellet, produced 17 reports with many addenda and annexes. The ILC's work was so seemingly endless that it inspired (gentle and good-natured) parody. But now it has indeed come to an end. It needs to be assessed, and the purpose of this Symposium is to initiate that debate.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Alain Pellet
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The purpose of this article is to revisit the long saga of the ILC Guide to Practice on Reservations to Treaties, as the Special Rapporteur has lived it for nearly 18 years and 16 reports. In its first part, the article recounts the elaboration procedure, pointing in particular to the elements of innovation and flexibility introduced in the process. The main one is the very type of instrument adopted, namely a Guide to Practice, and not a set of draft Articles that would eventually become a convention. In the second part, the main issues having retained the attention of the ILC, as well as of the other international bodies and of the academic community, are briefly recalled: the question of the unity or diversity of regimes, the permissibility of reservation and the status of the author of an impermissible reservation were among the most debated issues. Finally, the article explains the structure of the Guide to Practice.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Michael Wood
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The aim of the Guide to Practice on Reservations to Treaties is to assist practitioners of international law, who are often faced with sensitive problems concerning, in particular, the validity and effects of reservations to treaties, and interpretative declarations. The chief interest in the Guide will be in the light it shines on the many difficult substantive and procedural issues concerning reservations and declarations left open by the Vienna Conventions. But the institutional aspects are also of considerable practical interest. The present contribution considers some of the institutional or cooperative bodies that may assist practitioners: depositaries; treaty monitoring bodies; the reservations dialogue; and 'mechanisms of assistance'. The first two are well-established. The third and fourth are innovative, and it remains to be seen whether they will be adopted by states and, if so, how useful they will be. In any event, the Special Rapporteur has shown considerable foresight in proposing what became the annex to the Guide to Practice on the reservations dialogue, as well as the Commission's resolution on 'mechanisms of assistance'.
  • Topic: International Law